Friday, May 1, 2015

Fewer Americans Now Middle Class  (Baltimore Proves Hard War Against Disposable Youth)  FBI Infiltrators Become Criminals Deserving of Capital Punishment?

[If you've got access to Link TV, turn it on now and watch Richard D. Wolff explain the alternatives available to the system we're all suffering under. (In the west, that is.) You might want to pick up one of Dr. Woolf's books. You will also have the opportunity to see Chris Hedges' "Days of Revolt" tomorrow morning (May 1) at 9 AM.]

We never thought we were that uninformed, but what we failed to notice is that after we spent our lives working every moment and thought we had sowed some retirement oats (and filed for our benefits) that these had already been dispersed to those for whom we had been slaving for 40-odd years.

Dispersed some time before.

In tax cuts.

And deregulated work places.

And wars.

So, not only do we have very little to retire on, but, surprise! we're no longer middle class.

I hope we're all buckled up.

Fewer Americans Identify as Middle Class in Recent Years

Our woman at Sardonicky fills in the gaps between then and now.

It's not just globalization and horrific trade deals like NAFTA and the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership and its grotesque cousin, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It's the fact that "government support for Americans in the bottom half turned out to be too meager to hold society together."

Reactionary right-wing moralizing from the likes of Charles Murray and David Brooks notwithstanding, America is not a welfare state. At least, it's not a welfare state for its people. It is, however, a full-fledged corporate nanny state giving non-stop succor to the plutocracy, multinational businesses, and the permawar industry.

Meanwhile, the poobahs of the media-political complex persist in calling an abused urban population with a youth unemployment rate of over 80% a bunch of "thugs." It's made to order divide-and-conquer propaganda for the One Percent. Pit the poor whites and the poor browns and blacks against one another so that plutocratic power can remain entrenched.

It worked for Tricky Dick Nixon and his Silent Majority, and it's working again. Archie Bunker lives, even in the elite educated reader comments section of the "New York Times." Instead of police brutality and crushing poverty, we hear the same old themes of black-on-black crime and drug use that are the remnants of a slavery society. The Civil War never really ended.

It's been only a few generations since the phony truce was signed between a couple of generals.

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is announcing a presidential challenge (unfortunately within the cloying confines of the Democratic Party) to Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton, that self-styled Boudica of the hard-soft wars, gave a rousing speech for social justice. But she has just hired Charlie Baker, architect of billionaire austerian Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt," That's the astroturf campaign against the already too-thin social safety net. Besides acting as her new chief administrative officer, says the "New York Times," Baker will also coordinate slush funding for other Democratic candidates.

The truly damaging burning and looting - and partisan rooting, and own-horn tooting - continues unabated at the very highest levels.

The corporate media celebrate the concern-trolling elites at the same time that they force our glazed eyes toward the shell of a chain drugstore within the shell of a city neighborhood that itself has been smoldering and collapsing for decades. Visuals of destruction are engineered for blame-the-victim purposes. How dare the lower classes destroy a monolith of commerce erected just for them by their betters?

It's no accident that CNN was prominently looping film of a Newt Gingrich-inspired volunteer janitorial crew cleaning up the mess at "their" store as though it is a worker-owned cooperative and CVS isn't hoarding its insurance check. These are the "respectable" poor people told to be patient while the leaders engage in another National Conversation.

Meanwhile, for all those at the bottom, still resisting and calling out respectability for the sham it is, here's Bob Marley:

This morning I woke up in a curfew;
O God, I was a prisoner, too
 Could not recognize the faces standing over me . . . .


Her every word is a jewel. Go on over there and say "Thank you!"

Radio "WhoWhatWhy" Extra:  When Does an FBI Infiltrator Become the Criminal?

"WhoWhatWhy" Editor Russ Baker interviewed by Boston-based syndicated radio host Chuck Morse on April 24, just prior to the defense’s opening in the Boston Marathon Bombing trial penalty phase. Russ and Chuck get into it over the FBI’s appropriate use of plot infiltrators.

The defense’s strategy to secure a life imprisonment sentence for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is to argue that it would mean no martyrdom for him. But is he guilty at all?

Don’t Freak Out, But the Universe May Be a Hologram

I don't know why but for some reason that makes me smile.

No comments: